Beacon Theatre, New York, NY

Set List of Show:

Set List of Show:

  • "City Of Blinding Lights"
  • "Vertigo"
  • "With or Without You"
  • "Out of Control"
  • "Stories for Boys"
  • "I Will Follow"
  • "Iris (Hold Me Close)"
  • "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • "Pride (In the Name of Love)"
  • "Where the Streets Have No Name"
  • "Desire"
  • "Beautiful Day"
  • "Torna a Surriento"
Non-Bono Performances / Instrumentals:

  • "Into the Heart"
  • "Gloria"
  • "October"
  • "Miss Sarajevo"

Additional Music

Pre-Recorded Intro Song: "Empire State Human" - The Human League

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by Bono:

    "Piece of My Heart" (Janis Joplin) / "Miracle Drug" (U2) / "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) / "Glad to See You Go" (The Ramones) / "Crumbs from Your Table" (U2) / "Money Money" (from Cabaret) /

Show Details:

Tonight is the eleventh show of Bono’s run of 11 shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. He will also return for an invite only final performance where filming of the performance will take place. The theatre, capacity 2894, was also where the first leg of the tour started in November. Bono is performing these shows with Kate Ellis on cello and backing vocal, Jacknife Lee on keyboard and percussion and Gemma Doherty on backing vocals, harp and keyboard. Tonight’s show is the third of three additional shows announced after the first eight sold quickly.

The show tonight started around 8:25 and ran for approximately two hours. Although advertised as a sell out on the marquee for the Beacon Theatre at the time, tickets were still available in the afternoon on the day of the show.

If last night was a bit wobbly in spots, today’s show is quite the opposite. Bono is passionate, enjoying his tales on stage, and his voice sounded amazing. He has none of the perceived issues with stage placement tonight and the show is tight. Original plans had called for a sound check in the afternoon although this did not happen in the end.

Like other nights, the show is being filmed tonight. But unlike other nights where one or two cameras were present, tonight there are cameras everywhere. Two large cameras are set up next to each other at the sound board, and a number of seats behind this area are taped off tonight, and are not filled for the show. There’s also a camera on the left of the theatre near the front, another camera on the left is seen up in the balcony.

Additionally, hand held cameras are being used throughout the theatre. The initial line coming into the building are told they will be filmed and cameras filmed people entering the venue from inside. The same team would later move to filming the merchandise line and people looking at merchandise, even asking one fan to hold up a “Stories of Surrender” flask emblazoned with a sketch of The Edge for the camera. Hand held cameras were also seen thought the performance towards the back of orchestra and balcony areas. They also film the theatre emptying out and concert goers leaving the venue. Additional microphones are also present on the stage, likely to assist with filming. The live footage from tonight’s show will be mixed with close ups captured during tomorrow’s closed film shoot with an invited audience for eventual plans to stream later in the year. At the end of the week Bono will also be filming his show in Naples.

During the show, at the end of “I Will Follow” playing, someone in the crowd screams “We want you to sing it” as the song cuts off abruptly. Bono seems annoyed, saying “We should keep our mouths closed. We don’t want to engage the old Bono do we? We would not want to. You would not want to. I would not want to. So fuck off.” As he returns to telling his story, he points out he was interrupted a few additional times. When “I Will Follow” is played again later in the show he once again brings up the incident, saying he’s playing it “for my friend at the back”.

At the end of “Iris” someone in the audience sings “Hold me close, like I’m someone I used to know”, and Bono has a positive reaction to this interruption, “That’s beautiful, I might have spent my whole life trying to fill this silence my mother left me, I like the sound of your voice”.

Special guests in the audience included Bradley Cooper and his mother, Robert Deniro, Patti Smith, Don Johnson and his wife, Gina Gershon, Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. Bono’s wife Ali, and long-time friend Gavin Friday are also present for this final show

References to other songs are dotted throughout the performance beyond those listed in the main set list. As Bono talks about his heart surgery, he includes a snippet of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart”. Bono recites some of the lyrics from “Miracle Drug” as well. There’s a brief reference to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as Bono introduces Gemma Doherty on the harp, where Bono drops his voice in an imitation of Cohen’s gravelly voice. Bono also sings along to the Ramones’ “Glad to See You Go” ahead of “Out of Control”. Bono quotes the line “Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die” from “Crumbs from Your Table” as the music builds for “Where the Streets Have No Name”. “Money, Money” from Cabaret appears in “Desire” as it had during other shows on the tour.

There are other moments of U2 music in the show “Into the Heart” can be heard on harp at one point under Bono’s story, although Bono does not reference the song or sing it at all. “Gloria” can be heard in the backing with vocals by Gemma Doherty. “October” can also be heard as an instrumental. But Bono isn’t performing on these.

The event was a phones free event, and phones were collected as people entered the theatre and placed into locked pouches. Your phone is with you during the performance but can only be unlocked in certain areas of the theatre lobby, and is unlocked upon ending.

The theatre, located on the Upper West Side of New York opened in 1929. It was originally built as a movie theatre, and these days is used as an entertainment venue by Madison Square Garden Entertainment. The theatre is a New York City interior landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The Beacon makes use of a new audio system, Sphere Immersive Sound (yes, the same Sphere as Las Vegas) to provide state-of-the-art sound to each seat in the venue.

These three final “Stories of Surrender” shows were announced on January 5, 2022. Tickets went on sale on January 9, at 10am local time. Ticket prices for the previous shows started at $105 (upper balcony) including fees, and went to $441 (orchestra). (Tickets were also available at $162 for the loge and lower balcony and $313 for the loge and orchestra starting around row R and some seats to the side.) However, most tickets are unavailable at these prices as everything but the back balcony is being sold using Platinum pricing. Tickets do not include a copy of the book.

A presale was not held for U2.com members for these three added shows, however an email in advance of presales, mentioned that a special draw would be held for fan club members to participate in buying select tickets after the general ticket sale. Details of this ticket request program were sent out on January 30, with those applying being notified on February 3 if their purchase had been successful. This is a similar program to what is being used for the presales for The Sphere, where you request tickets and do not know in advance whether or not you are successful.

Posters for the show, sold out the prior night, and this evening they get a shipment of just 100 more from a new print run to sell. Although supplies are running low, there is still copies of everything else at the end of the show available.

Many thanks to Tracy, Pauline, Sam, and Elva for their assistance with this report.

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